Oculoplastic surgery is a highly specialized field within ophthalmology that focuses on eyelids, tear ducts, reconstructive surgery and cosmetic surgery.
All oculoplastic surgeons are trained as ophthalmologists first and then complete a fellowship dedicated to eyelid surgery.
How does one become an ophthalmologist?
First a college degree is obtained, then a future oculoplastic surgeon completes medical school. During medical school, students choose a specialty to apply for residency. Ophthalmology residency is an extremely competitive field to enter because it is an ideal blend of medicine and surgery. Only the top ranking medical students are accepted into ophthalmology residency. After finishing one year of medical internship, three years of ophthalmology residency are completed. Finally, during ophthalmology residency, doctors can choose to further train in a fellowship dedicated to oculoplastic surgery, or surgery of the eyelid, tear ducts and orbit. The oculoplastic fellowship is a very competitive field to enter. It requires the best hands, meticulous attention to detail and the ability to think on ones feet.
Why do doctors choose oculoplastic surgery over other ophthalmological fields?
Dr. Patel Sitole says she chose this field because it is highly technical requiring great surgical skills, but it also requires artistry. And she understands that a person’s face reflects their personality so respect and compassion are necessary. Mostly she wants to help patients achieve their best version of themselves.
Oculoplastics overlaps with other facial surgical fields. One of the main differences is that as a board certified ophthalmologist, the eyes are always at the forefront of the surgeons mind and all plastic surgery is performed with the eyes protected. Another difference is utilizing incisions around the eyelids that can be hidden from view. This minimizes scarring and results in natural looking surgery that isn’t obvious to the world that surgery was even performed.
Choosing the right surgeon is the most important step in facial plastic surgery around the eyes. There should be trust in the surgeon’s skill and also trust in the doctors compassion and ability to communicate with the patient. Accept nothing but the best for you.